Freeport man’s redhorse could be a world record

By Joe Albert Staff Writer

Freeport, Minn. – Robin Schmitz is going to have a hard time
beating this.

The 19-year-old Freeport fisherman caught last Friday what
apparently will be the new state and world record shorthead
redhorse from the Sauk River. Assuming his fish is certified,
Schmitz will have shattered previous records.

The current state record shorthead redhorse is 7 pounds, 15
ounces, caught in 1983 in the Rum River; the world record is 8
pounds, 12 ounces, caught in Ontario in 1988.

Schmitz’s fish weighed 12 pounds, 11.5 ounces, was 28.5 inches
long, and had an 18.5-inch girth.

“It was pretty exciting,” Schmitz said. “I was shocked; I don’t
know what the heck to say.”

The shorthead redhorse, a member of the sucker family, is found
in Minnesota rivers, according to Dean Beck, DNR area fisheries
supervisor in Glenwood.

Beck and another fisheries worker at his office identified the
fish. The DNR sometimes catches them in its nets, but doesn’t see
them often, Beck said.

“Prior to this, I didn’t even know there was much of a fishery
for them,” he said.

Schmitz has been fishing them for years. He works on his
family’s Stearns County farm, then routinely heads to fish the
river once the morning field work is done. He was fishing with his
uncle, Gilbert Schmitz, just below the Sauk River dam near Melrose
when the fish hit late in the morning.

They were targeting shorthead redhorse, black suckers, and carp.
“Whatever was in there,” Schmitz said.

Schmitz landed the fish five minutes after it hit his white and
gray jig adorned with a nightcrawler. He knew it was big, but
didn’t think much of it.

“It wasn’t a big deal to me right away,” Schmitz said. “But the
more I looked at it… And it didn’t fit into the pail; I couldn’t
keep it in the pail.”

So he weighed it at the river on a hand scale, then checked the
record books to see where it stacked up. He then took it to
Hoeschens Country Store in Freeport to have it weighed on a
certified scale.

“I’ve weighed tons of fish here, but I’ve never had any of these
brought in,” said Amy Hoeschen from the Country Store.

Once it was weighed there, it was identified at the DNR
fisheries office in Glenwood.

Jenifer Matthees of the DNR’s St. Paul office said she received
the paperwork Tuesday and would begin the verification process.

Categories: Hunting News

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